Salif Keita, known as the “Golden Voice of Africa,” is undoubtedly one of the most influential and important artists in African music. Born an albino, Keita was cast out by his family and ostracized by his community as his albinism was considered a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture. He overcame these obstacles to become one of Africa’s most celebrated singers.
In 1973, Keita joined the group Les Ambassadeurs – later called Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux – and rose to international fame in the 1970’s. In the early 1980’s Salif began a solo career and has gone on to become a superstar in Afropop music. Keita’s music blends together the traditional griot music of his Malian childhood with other West African influences from Guinea, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal, along with influences from Cuba, Spain, and Portugal. His latest albumTalé immerses us in the digital fountain of youth, with a sound that references Remain in Light by Brian Eno and Talking Heads – artists who pioneered their own future with their quest for the sounds of West Africa.